Tag Archives: michelle grattan

Grattan on Friday: Being a “better government” will be a big job

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra AFTER getting a serious bollocking from Ray Hadley on Thursday, Tony Abbott told the Sydney shock jock that he’s determined to be “a better prime minister with a better government and a more effective parliament next year than this year”. It’s a fine New Year’s resolution but can he […]

Grattan / Government reveals $40 billion budget deficit, clings to surplus hope

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra The budget is projected to return to surplus in 2019-20, according to the budget update which shows this financial year’s deficit has blown out from less than A$30 billion to more than $40 billion. Treasurer Joe Hockey said only the Coalition had “a plan on the table to get […]

Grattan on Friday: Abbott should ask Credlin what to do about Peta

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra JULIE Bishop and Peta Credlin had one significant parallel experience on the way to government. They both survived three Liberal leaders. Bishop was deputy to Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott. Credlin was chief of staff or deputy (Turnbull demoted her) in the offices of all three. The […]

Grattan / Co-payment compromise puts extra burden on doctors

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE government has stepped back from its A$7 proposed co-payment for visiting the GP but still aims to skin the Medicare cat, putting the onus on doctors to send a $5 price signal to non-concessional patients. In a more politically savvy package than the blunt-edged budget announcement that had […]

Grattan / Government determined to fight on for university fee deregulation

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra AFTER the Senate sent his higher education bill packing, Education Minister Christopher Pyne dropped into a Universities Australia reception, which serendipitously happened to be in full swing at Parliament House while the vote was on. Addressing the academic crowd, Pyne invoked Churchill’s fighting words about this not being the […]

Grattan / New Abbott tone – but one day does not a political revival make

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra After a shocker week in Canberra and a Liberal turf-out in Victoria, Tony Abbott conspicuously changed the tone of his government’s rhetoric. At his long Monday news conference he no longer behaved like a robotic actor treating his audience as mugs. But this was neither a mea culpa, nor […]

Former police chief gets plum diplomatic post

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Tony Abbott is appointing the former chief of the Australian Federal Police, Tony Negus, as Australia’s new high commissioner to Canada. Meanwhile, career diplomat Paul Grigson is being sent as ambassador to the sensitive post of Jakarta. The two appointments are still being processed and have not yet been […]

Grattan on Friday: In Victoria, Julie Bishop is the popular face of an unpopular government

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra DURING Thursday’s extremely unruly Question Time, when Speaker Bronwyn Bishop ejected a record 18 (all Labor) members, Tony Abbott was asked whether he’d visit Victoria on Friday, the eve of the state election. Abbott avoided the question, just talking about his earlier forays – one of which saw that […]

Grattan / Getting the government shipshape will take a lot more than throwing the co-payment overboard

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott’s reference to removing “barnacles” from his government has become the Canberra chatter. In technical terms, according to senior government sources who’ve had nautical advice since the Prime Minister’s comment, the process involves “careening” – turning a ship on its side for cleaning or repair. In politics, that’s […]

Grattan / Lambie goes her own way

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra JACQUI Lambie has finally quit the Palmer United Party but vowed to continue her opposition to government proposals for university fee deregulation, a Medicare co-payment and welfare measures that “hit the underdog”. Lambie formalised the bitter break in a statement to the Senate this morning and a media conference […]

Grattan / Someone planted Lambie in PUP, Palmer alleges

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra CLIVE Palmer has suggested renegade Palmer United Party senator Jacqui Lambie was deliberately planted in PUP to disrupt it. He said PUP was currently investigating Lambie, including how she got endorsement and what she put on her endorsement form. “I think she was sent in by someone to disrupt. […]

Grattan on Friday / government should tone down ideology and turn up common sense

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, usually sharp-witted and articulate, entered an Orwellian zone this week. Trying to explain away Tony Abbott’s pre-election promise of “no cuts to the ABC or SBS”, Turnbull argued Abbott had said it in one interview the night before the election but he, Turnbull, and Joe […]

An unexpected win for consumers of financial advice comes out of PUP implosion

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra AUSTRALIA’S financial services industry has been thrown into turmoil by the spectacular implosion of the Palmer United Party (PUP) and an independent stand by its supposed ally, Motoring Enthusiast Ricky Muir. Wednesday night’s disallowance, by a 32-30 vote, of the government’s regulations that unwound Labor’s Future of Financial Advice […]

Grattan / Xi gives reassuring message about China’s benign intentions

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra CHINESE President Xi Jinping has declared that “big guy” China is dedicated to pursuing peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region in a speech urging that China and Australia “jointly meet various security challenges to our region”. Addressing federal parliament, Xi said Australia and China should be “harmonious neighbours […]

G20 summit successful but untidy for Abbott

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Tony Abbott always said he wanted the Brisbane G20 to come up with practical actions and a communique of no more than three pages. He achieved both objectives – although the communique had a mass of attached documents. Notably, the leaders have endorsed reform plans aimed at significantly lifting […]

Grattan / Palmer tells ‘drama queen’ Lambie to put up or shut up

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra CLIVE Palmer has lashed out at his Palmer United Party senator Jacqui Lambie, calling her a “drama queen” and telling her to challenge his leadership or “get on with the job” of representing her voters. After some time trying to avoid further inflaming tensions with the outspoken Tasmanian senator, […]